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Poster announcing EU sea basins strategies presence at EMD 2024

EU Sea Basins Strategies featured at the European Maritime Day 2024

Set against the picturesque backdrop of Svendborg, Denmark, this annual event, hosted at the International Maritime Academy (SIMAC), promises to be enlighting for the maritime world.

On May 30-31, EMD 2024 will attract Ocean Leaders from across Europe to converge, deliberate, and establish collaborations focused on addressing pressing challenges and promising opportunities within the blue economy and marine ecosystem.

Kickstarting the festivities on May 30, the High-Level event on the main stage will feature prominent policymakers, including Charlina Vitcheva, Director General at DG MARE, along with representatives from Denmark, France, Portugal, and Moldova. This session, scheduled from 10:30 to 11:45, will spotlight the remarkable success of the EU Sea Basin Strategies as pivotal drivers of the Blue Economy, offering valuable insights into fostering sustainable maritime growth.

Later that day, from 15:00 to 16:15, a workshop led by the Sea Basins Assistance Mechanism (that includes the WestMED, Atlantic and Black Sea) will disclose synergies amongst EU “blue” initiatives. Expert speakers from EU4OCEAN, Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership, and the Energy Transition Partnership for EU fisheries and aquaculture will shed light on collaborative pathways for sustainable marine development.

EMD 2024 serves as an interactive in-person conference and exhibition. A place where businesses, governments, NGOs, academia, and EU citizens connect and discover. Through engaging discussions, workshops, and pitch sessions, stakeholders actively help shape the maritime agenda, tackle current challenges, and chart a course for future opportunities.

 

EU Sea Basin Synergies Workshop info and registration  (Registration for the conference required)

EMD2024 info and registration

Leonardo Manzari and Irene Alonso at UfM Stakeholder Conference 2024

WestMED goes full Mediterranean at the UfM stakeholder conference 2024

The WestMED Initiative actively participated in the 2nd UfM Blue Economy Stakeholder Conference, which took place in Athens on February 19 and 20, 2024.

Background
The WestMED Initiative follows up on the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Declaration on the Blue Economy endorsed by the Union for Mediterranean (UfM) which took place on the 17 November 2015, inviting the participating countries to explore the added value and feasibility of appropriate maritime strategies at sub-regional level, and build on the experience of the 5+5 Dialogue.

In October 2016, Foreign Affairs Ministers from Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia encouraged further work on an initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy, alongside the UfM Secretariat.

In the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Blue Economy (2021), Ministers “welcome the successful completion of the launch of the ‘Initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the western Mediterranean’ (WestMED)”, and “recognise both the WestMED initiative as successful examples of cooperation, focused on clear goals, priorities and measurable targets and as a catalyst for the development of sustainable blue economy projects in the region”.

The endorsing countries pursue the same priorities under the UfM Working Group and the WestMED Steering Committee: fostering the promotion of the blue economy, achieving a safer maritime space and improving the maritime governance.

Conference involvement
On the occasion of the 2nd UfM Blue Economy Stakeholder Conference, the WestMED Initiative assisted the UfM both in terms of organization and participation.

At  institutional level, the new WestMED Portuguese Co-Presidency represented by Ms. Marisa Lameiras da Silva, Director General for Maritime Policy in Portugal participated as one of the key speakers in the session of marine renewable energy, providing the success case of Portugal developing offshore energy and its potential replicability in the Mediterranean.

From the Commission side, Ms. Delilah Al Khudhairy, Director for Maritime Policy and Blue Economy, Mr. Christos Economou, Head of Unit for Maritime Regional Cooperation and Mr. Manuel Pleguezuelo, policy officer and WestMED coordinator from DG MARE, participated in numerous sessions showing a strong commitment to the sustainable blue economy in the Mediterranean. The same for Ms. Anja Detant (CINEA), as project manager of the WestMED Assistance Mechanism contract, who highlighted the WestMED Initiative and the award winning projects during the ‘Spotlights on Projects’ session.

At operational level, the WestMED Assistance Mechanism participated in different workshops as experts, moderators and rapporteurs, providing technical expertise. They also supported the UfM Secretariat behind-the-scenes in the development of the Conference.

The conference served as a crucial milestone to assess progress, discuss challenges, and engage the entire Mediterranean Sustainable Blue Economy Community in shaping further deliberations at political and practical level.

A concrete example of succesful cooperation beyond the western Mediterranean was the MoU signed during the conference among the Tunisian and Greek Maritime Clusters  (with groundwork through the WestMED Cluster Alliance) to further boost the blue economy between the western and eastern Mediterranean.

 

Anja Detant at UfM conference 2024

Samir Bachouche-and Manuel Pleguezuelo at UfM Conference 2024

Manuel Pleguezuelo at UfM Conference 2024

Thanos Smanis, Isabelle Perret, Christos Economou at the UfM Stakeholder Conference 2024

UfM stakeholder Conference - speakers with thumbs up

Photos: copyright UfM secretariat

Aquaculture report Algeria 2024 with screenshot of front cover

Guide to good environmental practice for sustainable marine aquaculture

Produced under the auspices of the Algerian Ministry of the Environment and Renewable Energies (MEER) in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Fish Production, with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), as part of the “Protection of the Environment and Biodiversity of the Algerian Coastline (PEBLA)” project.

This guide has been developed as a tool to provide decision-makers and aquaculture producers with practical recommendations for reducing the impact of aquaculture activities on the environment. Its content is based on current technical and scientific knowledge for the sustainable management of farmed species.

Topics covered include environmental protection, product quality, labour standards, consumer safety and animal welfare.

Download the report

Source: Guide des bonnes pratiques environnementales pour une aquaculture marine durable – وزارة البيئة والطاقات المتجددة

For more information, contact the WestMED National Hub Algeria (samir Bachouche): algeria@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu

event announcement poster

WestMED national event on Green Shipping in Algeria

On February 12, 2024, the Algerian National Hub of the WestMED Initiative, in coordination with the Ministry of Fisheries and Fisheries Production, organized their national event focused on on ‘Green Shipping in Algeria.’ This took place in Oran, Algeria.

The event was embedded in a two day international workshop organised by Power4Med – an EMFAF* funded project that supports operators of smaller ships and marinas on the path towards carbon neutrality

The event brought together over 80 participants and representatives from various sectors, including government bodies, industry experts, academics, students, and international researchers.

It focused on strategies for green shipping and ports in Algeria as well as the Western Mediterranean region as a whole, emphasizing best practices, innovative technologies, and policy frameworks that contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous maritime sector. The event also raised awareness about the WestMED Initiative and its relevance to Algeria, while fostering dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders in developing a sustainable blue economy.

During the event, speakers shared insights and experiences on the advantages and opportunities of green shipping, highlighting the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel for bunkering ships. They also discussed the new regulations of the International Maritime Organization, which have significantly reduced sulfur content in marine fuels, leading to a cleaner and greener maritime environment.

Algeria’s experience in developing green shipping and ports was showcased, emphasizing its potential as a catalyst for the development of the blue economy in the country. The event provided a platform to exchange knowledge and experiences among West Mediterranean countries, including an overview of the work done by the Green Shipping Technical Group created under the WestMED Initiative and coordinated by WestMED’s Italian National Hub.

Financing opportunities and partnerships with the European Union were also explored, underlining the support offered to SMEs, research institutes, academia and authorities by the WestMED Assistance Mechanism and their respective National Hubs. The event encouraged stakeholders to identify financing mechanisms that would match their project idea(s)  and to collaborate with regional and international partners to accelerate the transition to a sustainable blue economy.

The event’s outcomes were highly impactful, with increased awareness among stakeholders about the opportunities and challenges of developing a sustainable blue economy in Algeria. The discussions on green shipping and ports provided valuable insights into best practices and innovative technologies, paving the way for enhanced environmental performance and efficiency in the maritime sector.

As we move forward, the event strengthened collaboration and partnerships among stakeholders, both at the national and international levels. The commitment to implement concrete actions and initiatives to promote a sustainable blue economy in Algeria has been reaffirmed, ensuring a brighter and greener future for our maritime industry.

* European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund

 

Visit the event webpage for the background and the agenda of this event with the respective speakers.

Contact the National Hub Algeria Samir Bachouche for more information or support with your project: algeria@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu

 

 

 

announcement poster GFCM-WestMED aquaculture event at SIPA 2024 in Oran, Algeria

Joint FAO/GFCM-WestMED event during SIPA2024 on Climate Change Resilient Aquaculture

On February 11, 2024, the GFCM Scientific Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ), organized a workshop in close cooperation with WestMED Algeria on Climate Change, Resilient Aquaculture, and Mitigation Strategies. This event took place during the International Fisheries and Aquaculture exhibition (SIPA Algerie 2024), in Oran Algeria

The workshop started with opening remarks, setting the stage for discussions on aquaculture in the Mediterranean basin in the context of climate change.

Esteemed speakers shared their insights, beginning with Rita Lecci from the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC) Foundation in Italy, who highlighted the relationship between aquaculture and climate change. The presentation emphasized the need for sustainable aquaculture development to promote a resilient blue economy in the region.

Samir Bachouche, representing the national hub of the WestMED Initiative in Algeria, shed light on the importance of sustainable aquaculture in the Western Mediterranean and its contribution to a sustainable blue economy and highlighted the workk of WestMED thematic stakeholder group on aquaculture: AquaWest. Javier Ojeda from the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) shared European fish farmers’ perspectives on climate change, providing valuable insights into the challenges they face.

The workshop then delved into innovative tools and strategies to address climate change challenges in aquaculture. Alessio Bonaldo from the University of Bologna in Italy presented strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation in aquaculture, emphasizing the need for innovative approaches. Curzio Pagliari, also from the University of Bologna, discussed the use of green propulsion systems for more sustainable aquaculture, highlighting the importance of reducing environmental impact.

Jose Diaz Salinas of Skretting, Norway, joined the discussion online and addressed the feed challenge in aquaculture in the face of climate change. His insights shed light on the importance of sustainable and efficient feed production practices.

In the afternoon session, the focus shifted to climate change resilient farming systems. Soufiane Bensalem from the University Kasdi Merbah Ouargla Salem in Algeria presented Saharan aquaculture as a model of farming resilient to climate change. Elisa Ravagnan from NORCE, Norway, explored the concept of integrated multi-tropic aquaculture as a potential solution for climate change resilience. Enric Gisbert from the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA), Spain, shared insights into a saltwater aquaponics system for mullet and Salicornia production.

The workshop concluded with a fruitful discussion among participants, addressing the challenges and opportunities of climate change resilient aquaculture. The insights gained from the workshop will contribute to the development of effective mitigation strategies and promote sustainable aquaculture practices in the Mediterranean basin.

Visit the event webpage for more information on the background and the agenda

Contact the WestMED National Hub Algeria (Samir Bachouche) for more information: algeria@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu

 

Here’s a videoclip from Samir Bachouche during the event:

 

European Blue Announcement with  2 cover pages of eu blue forum position papares 2024

The European Blue Forum Stakeholder Position Papers are out!

The European Blue Forum consisting of stakeholders from all 5  EU sea basins has published its first 2 Position papers related to key issues concerning the European Seas

Paper 1: What do we need from European Seas by 2030, and are we asking too much?
Paper 2: What does a fossil fuel free sustainable blue economy look like? How can we as a community support this transition?

These 2 papers, crafted collaboratively by European Blue Forum members through insightful discussions over the past 10 months are now accessible.

The documents are set to serve as a significant statement on maritime and coastal stakeholders’ common issues, challenges and future expectations for our European Seas. They gather the needs of the European Blue Forum members and provides the main axes of action for the years to come.

The papers will be presented during a public meeting of the inter-parliamentary group SEARICA in Brussels on 7th March 2024.

Download the papers

screenshot of aquaculture report cover

Guide to good environmental practice for sustainable marine aquaculture

Produced under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment and Renewable Energies (MEER) in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Fish Production, with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), as part of the “Protection of the Environment and Biodiversity of the Algerian Coastline (PEBLA)” project.

This guide has been developed as a tool to provide decision-makers and aquaculture producers with practical recommendations for reducing the impact of aquaculture activities on the environment. Its content is based on current technical and scientific knowledge for the sustainable management of farmed species.

Topics covered include environmental protection, product quality, labour standards, consumer safety and animal welfare.

Source: Guide des bonnes pratiques environnementales pour une aquaculture marine durable – وزارة البيئة والطاقات المتجددة

For more information, contact the WestMED National Hub Algeria (samir Bachouche): algeria@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu